David Rhodes, Author of Risen

What is your book Risen about?

Conveniently located directly across from the city cemetery, Ramsey Funeral Home has ghosts coming and going.

The century-old mansion has been the last stop for numerous town residents, and some just don’t want to leave. In fact, many have Risen. But all the spirits who visit are not friendly. One is the ghost of a long-dead child killer and cannibal. The murderer has taken over the soul of Karl Ramsey, the mysterious mortician who runs Ramsey Funeral Home.

Adam Ramsey, Karl’s nephew and heir to the family estate through his grandfather, returns to his hometown, only to relive ghostly childhood memories. He seeks to discover if the terrible rumors about his uncle are true. Adam teams up with a woman whose eight-year-old daughter has disappeared to find out what is happening.
Nothing, however, can prepare them for what they will discover.

What inspired you to write this particular story?

The cemetery inspired me most of all, as I lived right next door. I was constantly seeing funerals, more than I had imagined would occur regularly.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?

There is a lot of me in Adam, with the childhood memories and such. I grew up enduring nightmares almost nightly, and it slowed down a little in adulthood. I could sympathize with Adam at having to return to his childhood, one that would have just as soon forgotten.

How long did it take you to write your book?

It took a little more than a year to write the first draft of Risen, as I was still working a full time job at the time. I did all my writing in the middle of the night after work, before going to bed and sleeping until after lunch, only to wake and do it all over again.

Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)

This particular novel demanded a lot of research. I knew nothing of the actual processing of the deceased, and the preparations that take place to ensure a respectful send off for loved ones. So that took up a lot of time. I wanted to make sure I went into that project knowing exactly what I was talking about.

How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

I usually begin with figuring out just what characters are going to be needed for a novel, and I let it grow form there, as demand for others ensue. I make character profiles for all my characters, and kind of resume for each person. Later, they usually grow on their own.

What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?

I think what has changed the most since writing my first novel is my writing style. Risen was my second novel, and as I wrote it, I noticed immediately the changes in style, overall the elements of sentences and paragraphs. But this is normal if you write on a regular basis. Your own style begins to emerge, and you write with more ease.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I am working on several different projects. I completed an anthology called Door 13 around the same time as Risen, so I only need to do some revisions and editing to prepare it for publishing. I am also working on a new novel called Dark Asylum, and another anthology called From The Shadows. I really love the short stories, and I expect many more to come.

Does writing come easy for you?

Writing has always come fairly easy to me, but don’t let anyone fool you – writing a book is no easy task. There is a lot of work involved in writing, and I think that is why a lot of new writers give up too quickly. If you really want to write something significant, you must have what I like to call “sticktoitness.”

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

The one person who gave me the best writing advice I ever had did not actually give it to me, but to anyone and everyone who asks, and that is Stephen King. Long before I heard his advice, I had notice just how important these things were, and how they applied to my writing. The advice was: read and write a lot. It is simply true. Keep reading constantly, and write as much as you can. And never get too discouraged. If you set out to write something, and finished it, good or bad, you are a success.

Where can people learn more about your books?

To learn more about my books and future projects, my web site is Writerdavidrhodes.com. All the information you need is there.

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